Rubaroo - Coming ‘Face to Face’
For the founding team at Rubaroo, it was a word that encompassed all that they believed in when the
organization was formed. It linked their journeys to the turning point in finding their passion - a space,
that nurtured a potential to challenge and breakaway from the conditioning of society, but also a space that
gave them the freedom to choose consciously, question, and learn to be.
Hema, Monisha, and Neha met many years ago - and one thing that brought them together on a common platform was the reflection of spaces in their lives where they got an opportunity to experiment with life.
For Hema, it was the passion to engage with adolescents and youth. As a young person, she constantly looked out for spaces to engage in conversations with others on social issues that were important to her. She realized that there were no such spaces around her, and this inspired her to find ways to fill this gap by creating such spaces for young people, through Rubaroo. Her education in Human Rights (Peace and Conflict) from Delhi University helped strengthen her belief in the power of dialogue and youth led spaces for social change.
For Monisha, it was a 6-month volunteering experience called Global Xchange (a programme run by Pravah, VSO, and British Council) where she lived in the UK and Rajasthan for 3 months each questioning her world view about everything she had been ‘taught’ so far. She took this as an opportunity to create similar spaces of exposure and learning for youth for many years which paved her way to find joy in facilitation, youth work, and advocacy through campaigning.
And for Neha, it was during her school-time experience of volunteering, and through street theatre on social issues while studying at Christ College. Post her Masters in Social work from Delhi School of Social Work she joined Pravah, Delhi where her exposure to youth facilitation helped her find her passion. With the support of Pravah’s Changelooms Learning and Leadership journey, the seed of starting up was nurtured.
The co-founders believe that mentoring and facilitated journeys for young people can have tremendous influence, as it is reflected through the impact on their lives. The journey of social change begins with the belief that each individual has the potential to create and facilitate change through themselves.
To create an inclusive and equitable world where individuals transcend boundaries through a genuine engagement with self and society.
To create a platform that is a safe and inclusive space for young people to access opportunities of learning and self development.
We believe that every individual has the power to create and facilitate change. And over many years of
working with young people, we have learnt that the key to achieve change in society, is by working with ‘soch’
i.e thought process that has been influenced and conditioned through culture. Therefore, in order to create social,
and psychological impact, one needs to work with mindset change. Rubaroo does so, by facilitating experiential
learning opportunities through inclusive, mentored, self-reflective journeys.
An exposure to the ‘other’ builds capacities of individuals to become empathetic and inclusive citizens. Our programmes, campaigns, exposures, internships, camps, workshops, youth-led change initiatives, are all designed to challenge norms, stereotypes, social patterns by pushing some comfort zones through our activity based curricula. While each of these may be individualistic, they also exist in the context of social and political cultures. So along with learning more about our ‘self’ through everything that a participant may experience, they would also learn about communities around them, and the structure of diversity patterns that exist locally and globally. The development of life skills and lifelong learners can only happen in spaces where they get to experience and challenge notions about their own selves, with peers and friends from diverse groups.
Rubaroo works with a values-based approach, that focuses on acknowledging and recognising an individual’s values, which further influence attitudes and behaviours. And because the basic foundation - the values that each of us live our lives by - is at the centre of all learning, we are able to nurture the potential of individuals beyond identities and identity based conflict.
Orientation to the Issue - Foundation workshop: This is the first step in bringing the group together and building a rapport with the facilitators and their fellow participants. Even if they may come from a previously common group, this is an opportunity to learn new things about each other, while also set the shared values of the ‘space’, together.
Exploring the Issue - Community Exposure: Young people who have embarked on this journey, explore the issue and the theme further by pushing their comfort zones and practising empathy. They may travel to a local community, be part of simulation activities, and begin to analyse the issues in the context of social structures around them. A mix of theory and practical, this step facilitates a feeling-based learning where the group is beginning to experience and learn from their experiences.
Taking a Stance - Action Project Initiation: The youth group now facilitate change inside (within) and out - they design, develop, organise, and lead ‘Social Action Projects’, where they work with others in the group to build perspectives, engage with real time conflict, and initiate change in their ‘circle of influence’ - family, school / college, peers, or communities. This is an opportunity to create new learnings through the process of unlearning, of the many challenges they come across in this period. Beyond success or failure, the Social Action Projects are meant to be learning spaces to reflect and analyse the strengths and weaknesses in their road to success or failure.
Leading the Change - Debrief: This is not the end, but only the beginning to lifelong learning. Participants reflect on, and analyse their journey in the programme so far, to identify their strengths or limiting patterns in this road to lifelong learning. This is also an opportunity of leadership where these young people are inspired to take on their experience to the world
Director, Partnerships &
Resource Mobilization, Pravah
Director, Madina and Global
Group of Institutions
Syeda Naghma Abidi,
Senior Consultant, Pravah
Change Manager, Ashoka
Innovators for the Public